Archive for Superboy

Doing it Quick like a, um, Beetle

More fast reviews! ‘Cause I’m a busy man! I got work to do! Meetings to attend! Candy to eat! So onward! REVIEWS!


Blue Beetle #19

The extremely tall Giganta, one of Wonder Woman’s enemies, shows up to take down local crimelord La Dama, who’s secretly the beloved aunt of Jaime Reyes’ friend Brenda. Whoa, complication! Can Jaime save La Dama and still preserve the secret she’s been keeping from Brenda? Umm, no, he really can’t.

Verdict: Thumbs up! Good action, good jokes, decent soap opera. Paco gets the best lines, as usual. Have I told y’all to start buying this? You’ve been ignoring me, haven’t you? Don’t make me beat you!


Teen Titans #51

Oh, spit! It’s the evil Titans from the future! But I thought they stopped existing? I thought Conner Kent and Bart Allen were dead? Oh, well, they’ve stomped on the Justice League and have now sent the current Titans off against a bunch of supervillains who are being mind-controlled by Starro the Star Conqueror. Of course, the future Titans have some twisted reasons for being there, but Robin has a plan to stop them — a pretty drastic plan…

Verdict: Thumbs up. The future Titans are good, wicked fun. Hope they can maintain the fun over the next issue or two.


Countdown to Mystery #1

I’d planned to skip nearly all these Countdown tie-ins, but decided to give this one a shot because I heard it had Plastic Man in it, and Plastic Man’s my homie. So in the first part, we meet the new Dr. Fate, who, like the first Dr. Fate, is named Kent Nelson. Oooo, coincidences! He’s a down-on-his-luck bum who stumbles across Fate’s helmet in a dumpster in Vegas and then uses its power to destroy a demon. Yay for smelly homeless Dr. Fate!

In the second part, the Spectre kills a murderer, who steadfastly refuses to go to Hell, because he’s an atheist. Haw! Eat that, Mr. Wrath-of-God! Then we run into my pal Plas, who captures some muggers in Central Park, then gets accosted by Eclipso, who apparently turns him from wacky jokester to angst-ridden villain-to-be. And then there’s a flashback with Darkseid. But ya know, I wasn’t listening by that point. Because no one treats my pal Plastic Man that way. NO ONE TREATS MY PAL PLASTIC MAN THAT WAY.

Verdict: Thumbs down. The story with Dr. Fate was pretty good. But you do not treat my pal Plastic Man that way.

And now, just to burn a little more space, here’s another image you will never be able to un-see.


That’s right, Superboy saves people by biting them on the butt. Comics are wholesome!

Comments off

Superman vs. Superboy


DC Comics owns and publishes Superman, right? Sure, we all know that. But here’s a puzzler for ya — does DC Comics own Superboy?

It’s not as easy as you might think. In fact, there’s a lawsuit going on right now trying to determine that.

Confused? So is just about everyone else…

So here’s the story — Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created Superman way back in 1932 and sold him to Detective Comics, Inc. in 1938. They wrote a bunch of Superman stories under a standard work-for-hire contract — they got paid for what they wrote, and the company had full ownership of the characters and stories they wrote. Some of the stories they wrote, particularly the stories about Superboy — Superman when he was a kid back in Smallville — were not written as work-for-hire.

Now Siegel and Shuster were notoriously done-wrong by DC — they were paid very little, compared to what Superman was worth to DC, and they were eventually kicked out of the company, along with a bunch of other old-timers, because DC was afraid they’d want to get paid more money. Eventually, DC came around (with a little nudging from a few lawsuits), paid Siegel and Shuster some more money ($20,000 per year, plus medical expenses) and credited them with Superman’s creation in every story in which he appeared.

Siegel and Shuster are both now dead, but their families are still a bit put out with the company. And as screwed up as copyright law is these days, they’ve seen the opportunity to try to claim the rights to Superboy. Now normally, you’d say they have no shot. Yes, the Superboy stories weren’t written as work-for-hire, but they’d normally be considered derivative of Superman — they have the same costume, the same “S” shield, they’re both named Clark Kent, etc., etc., etc.

But a judge could rule that parts of the stories belonged to the Siegels and Shusters. It all depends on whether the stories were original enough to establish themselves as separate from the other Superman stories. The judge could rule that the families own parts of the Superman mythos, like Smallville, Krypto the Superdog, Lana Lang, or even Ma and Pa Kent.

Do the families want to own parts of the Superman mythos? Probably not. They couldn’t do anything with them — even if they got ownership of Superboy himself, they couldn’t publish Superboy comics, because DC’s ownership of the trademark for the character isn’t challenged. Do they want to get hold of those characters to make DC stop publishing stuff about Smallville or the Kents? No, because they ain’t crazy. What they want is more money, more than likely. Do they deserve more money or ownership of the characters? That’s something for the judge to decide, but there are more things at stake than just legal issues.

Again, lemme point you to this analysis of the case. The author has a much greater grasp of legal matters than I do…

Comments off

Look! Up in the Sky! It’s… SUPERBABY!

This article is a few weeks old, but it certainly seems relevant for this blog: a little kid named Liam Hoekstra is a superhuman prodigy!


Liam Hoekstra was hanging upside down by his feet when he performed an inverted sit-up, his shirt falling away to expose rippled abdominal muscles.

It was a display of raw power one might expect to see from an Olympic gymnast.

Liam is 19 months old.


Liam can run like the wind, has the agility of a cat, lifts pieces of furniture that most children his age couldn’t push across a slick floor and eats like there is no tomorrow — without gaining weight.

“He’s hungry for a full meal about every hour because of his rapid metabolism,” Hoekstra said. “He’s already eating me out of house and home.”


The kid has a genetic condition called myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy, which means that he’s got abnormal growth of his skeletal muscles. He’s immensely strong for his age, quick as lightning, has a light-speed metabolism, and almost no body fat. The condition doesn’t affect his heart, and as far as anyone knows, it has no negative side effects. Scientists think it’s pretty rare, but it’s only been discovered in the last few years, so they don’t yet know exactly how many people have it. The biggest problem for Liam is that a kid his age needs some body fat to develop properly, and his metabolism is cranked so high, it’s hard for him to put on fat at all.

Even better? The kid has the potential to be a real superhero — no, not flying around and fighting supervillains, but studying him could lead scientists and doctors to important new treatments.


Liam’s condition is more than a medical rarity: It could help scientists unlock the secrets of muscle growth and muscle deterioration. Research on adults who share Liam’s condition could lead to new treatments for debilitating ailments, such as muscular dystrophy and osteoporosis.

If researchers can control how the body produces and uses myostatin, the protein could become a powerful weapon in the pharmaceutical arsenal. It also could become a hot commodity among athletes looking to gain an edge, perhaps illegally, on the competition, experts said.


Give him another couple of decades, and there’s a pretty good chance we’ll see playing pro football. Don’t bet against him…

UPDATE: I just found an interesting photo of Liam:

That is a 19-month-old toddler doing a chin-up.

I would not want to be anywhere near when he has a temper tantrum.

Comments off